Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Old Hat

This is not the best picture of my daughter. I took it last month. She was playing outside when I arrived home from running an errand. She approached me asking for help with the hat, which had slid down over her eyes. I adjusted it and then snapped this picture before she ran off to resume playing with her brothers. It’s blurry. Her hair is a mess. Still, I love it. She’s my daughter, and I willingly admit that I have a soft spot for my little girl. Check your knee-jerk impulse to leave the usual comments about how she has me wrapped around her little finger. If you knew how many times she folds her arms across her chest and stomps away complaining, “I don’t like that, daddy!” or “I’m mad at you!” then you’d know how much she doesn’t get away with. When I saw her wearing this hat I immediately thought about the day I received it. I was issued that hat by the US Navy in September of 1986 a week prior to departing the US for my one year tour in Antarctica. It never occurred to me that 25 years later my daughter would wear that same hat, or make it look far cuter than I ever could.

Early tomorrow morning we will make our annual trip to the cardiologist. The check-up is fairly routine. After recording her height, weight, temperature, and blood pressure, she’ll have an EKG and an echo cardiogram. We’ll sit in a small room while the cardiologist crunches numbers and then enjoy a conversation with him that more closely resembles a visit with an old friend rather than a doctor’s examination. I am expecting the same news that we received last year. All will be well. For now. That will be great. Captain Chaos will remain blissfully oblivious about her heart and her future. That’s how it should be. She needs to be allowed to live life to its fullest without thought or care for something over which she has no control. There will be a visit when the news won’t be so good, but we know that it should be a little farther off in the future. When it comes it will not be a surprise (unless, of course, it comes tomorrow morning) and there is a plan of action for addressing it.

Living with a child who has survived health challenges like my daughter’s is a constant reminder of God’s providence. Up until the moment her health failed I knew God existed and I knew He intervened in our lives, but there is an enormous difference between knowing something intellectually and living through the heart pounding experience of life on the precipice, and a parent’s feeling of utter helplessness when their child is sick and there is nothing that they can do about it except pray. Ironically, prayer is the best thing that a parent can do in those moments. And we did pray!

Walt Whitman once wrote, “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” My barbaric yawp is “God is good! Look at what he has done for us. For all of us!” Look at what He did for this little girl. If you seek Him, He will make Himself available to you. There’s a pretty good book on the subject available at most bookstores. If you pray, He will answer. I know that He listens. I know that He responds. Just look at that smile up above.

8 comments:

Katydid said...

This is a perfect pic of the Captain! Bright shiny eyes, impish smile, ruddy cheeks,and outside with her besties brothers. I miss that face. And, she is living proof of God's goodness.

Oklahoma Granny said...

Our God is an awesome God and loves His children, just as you love your sweet girl. I'll be thinking of you all tomorrow as you go for your visit with the doctor.

L. said...

What a precious picture and beautiful child. Loved your blog.

tsinclair said...

Picture perfect! :-)

The_Kid said...

I just said a prayer for her Arby.

Kathleen said...

She is SUCH a cutie - I love the personality that just oozes from her photo! With all that you have been through with this precious little girl, I don't see how you can't have a soft spot in your heart for her

GingerB said...

Arby, she is indeed lovely. I'll be thinking of your family tomorrow, and send a prayer in my less conventional sort of fashion (I'm still getting over some complaints I have about religion, but lurking about you true believers really does mean something to me, because I'm not done with God). Your daughter is a blessing, and I am delighted you and the Boss and the boys have her.

Arby said...

That's okay, Ginger, and thank you for the prayers. I'm certain that God isn't through with you, either! ;o)